Archive for November 2012

Renate’s Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Praline Topping

November 21, 2012


5 Cups of sweet potatoes boiled and mashed.

1 Stick of butter

1 Cup of milk

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup sugar

2 Eggs, beaten

1 Teaspoon cinnamon

1 Teaspoon of vanilla

Ingredients for Topping:

1 Stick of butter

1/2 Cup of flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 Cup of brown sugar



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix ingredients for sweet potato portion together and place in a baking dish. Bake 15 minutes. While potatoes are baking mix the topping ingredients together (except for the pecans). Remove the potatoes from the oven and sprinkle topping on top then layer with pecans. bake an additional 15 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly and enjoy.


Pumpkin Bars with Pecan Oat Crust

November 18, 2012

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8″ square pan and line with parchment.

Do not trim the parchment to fit on two of the sides so that it hangs over and will act as handles to lift the cold bars out of the pan.


For the Crust:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup old fashioned oats

3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For the Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg plus 1 large egg white

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon all-spice

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

To make crust:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and oats.  Add cold butter and quickly but thoroughly break the butter up into the dry ingredients.  When broken down, some butter pieces will be the size of small peas, others will be the size of oat flakes.  Add the chopped pecans and toss to thoroughly combine. I use the food processor to make quick work of this part. But you can do it by hand in a bowl if you’re a purist.

Remove about 1 1/2 cups of the mixture from the bowl and place in a small bowl in the refrigerator.  This will be our crumble topping.

Dump the remaining crust mixture into the prepared pan.  Using your fingers, evenly press the crust into the bottom of the pans.  Try to make sure that the crust has an even thickness across the pan.  Place the pressed crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. It will seem like a thick crust, that’s how it is supposed to be.

To make filling:

To prepare the filling place softened cream cheese in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat cream cheese on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth and pliable.  This will help the cream cheese be less chunky when combined with the pumpkin.

Add pumpkin and sugar  to the softened cream cheese and beat on medium speed.  Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, ensuring that the pumpkin and cream cheese are thoroughly combined.  If the cream cheese looks chunky, switch to the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until most of the cream cheese lumps are incorporated. On medium speed add the egg and egg white.  Beat to combine (about 1 minute).  Add the spices, salt, and vanilla extract.  Beat to combine.

Remove the pressed crust and loose crumb from the refrigerator.  Pour the creamy pumpkin filling over the pressed crust.  Sprinkle generously with crumb topping .  Bake for approx. 25 minutes or until the center no longer jiggles.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.  Resist the temptation to eat them warm! Trust me, they won’t taste half as good. Refrigerate until cold.

To store, wrap individual bars in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

This recipe is courtesy of Joy the Baker

Apple Cake with Maple Frosting

November 15, 2012

“Comfort food, tender cake with chunks of apples, autumn spices and maple syrup frosting.”


    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
    • 2 cups diced peeled, granny smith apples
    • 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
    • for frosting
    • 1 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and other spices including salt and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl combine the butter and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time.
Page 2 of 2Apple Cake With Maple Frosting (cont.)


  1. Using a rubber spatula gently fold in one third of flour mixture until fully incorporated. Gently, or the cake will be tough. Fold in 1/2 the buttermilk. another 1/3 of flour, then remaining buttermilk continuing to fold gently after each addition. Add remaining flour, apples the apples and nuts, if using.
  2. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes, watch closely DO NOT OVER BAKE.
  3. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 20 minutes.
  4. To make the frosting, simmer the maple syrup in a sauce pan until it reduces by half, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir until incorporated and add vanilla and cream. Stir powdered sugar into mixture and beat with a wire whisk until smooth. Let it cool completely before pouring over the cooled cake.